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A eulogy for books, but long live stories

I'm a slow adopter of technology. But I bought a Kindle this summer and I am now – to my surprise – writing a eulogy for the old-fashioned book. Even as we bury the book, let us praise the story, which will live forever.

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I’m a notoriously slow adopter of technology. I still don’t have my first iPod. I’m waiting for version 99.0, the one that will reach into my memory to find and form my playlist. And do it while I’m asleep. I had several computers before I stopped writing my first drafts longhand, on yellow legal pads. I didn’t get a DVR until it came through the cable into my house as part of my package. And I still don’t use it. But I got a Kindle this summer, and I’m in love with it. Go figure.

A Kindle is exactly the thing a slow adopter like me would be writing about. Only I would expect I’d be railing against it as I did a few years ago about camera phones. Why, I screamed into the void, do I need a camera in my phone? Why not a toaster? I am exactly the type of person I would expect to write an ode to the old-fashioned book. Which is why I am writing its eulogy.

There’s a good chance I’ve bought my last book. At least the kind of book made out of paper and constructed of pre-industrial revolution technology. Oh, I may still buy the occasional art book, but I have most likely bought my last paperback novel.

And if a lover of reading and of old things, a nostalgic Boomer like me has bought his last book, then the book’s demise is near. I guess I was secretly hoping there would be a reason that books made of paper and ink had to survive. Some functional benefit to holding the book in the flesh. Some argue that such benefits exist, but after reading several books on my Kindle, I can’t find any. Well, maybe one.

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